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Blind Football Fans Get to "See" Euro 2012

6 years ago50 views

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Visually impaired fans will soon be able to experience the Euro 2012 soccer championships in a whole new way. Volunteers are now being trained to give running commentaries throughout the matches, delivered to fans on audio headsets.

Visually impaired fans will be treated to an audio commentary during the European soccer championships this summer.

European Soccer governing body UEFA plans to provide headsets for all those at the stadiums in Ukraine and Poland where the tournament will take place.

A specially trained commentator will not only comment upon tactics during the games but will also describe everything that takes place in the stadium—this is known as "Audio Description."

Gregory Waltl -- a sports commentator in Austria -- has been doing these audio commentaries since 2008 and describes it as a great pleasure.

[Gregory F.Waltl, Sports Commentator for Blind People]:
"Audio description is much richer than the general conventional sports commentary, where the main focus on what's going on and what are results. But here you must also describe what fans are making, the coach and replacement players. Is a beautiful sunset shown over the stadium, and what does the stadium look like." "

Sergei Vasin -- President of the Association of Blind Chess - comments on the average commentator's inability to describe activity and emotion for the visually impaired.

[Sergei Vasin, President of the Association of Blind Chess]:
"Today commentary for the blind people has become worse than it was in the 60s or in the 70s. It is focused on a viewer of the television screen."

In the near future Ukrainian volunteers will receive training on how to deliver commentaries for the blind. Julia Mulyash describes what is involved.